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Mar 24, 2024 11:39 pm

Gabe Madsen pours in career-high 31 as Utah ousts Iowa

utah craig smith

Gabe Madsen scored a career-high 31 points and Deivon Smith recorded a triple-double to lead No. 2 Utah to a 91-82 win over No. 3 Iowa in Salt Lake City on Sunday night in the second round of the NIT.

Utah (21-14) will next host VCU, a 70-65 winner over South Florida, on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals for a chance to be one of four teams to vie for an NIT championship at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Madsen hit seven of Utah’s 12 3-pointers and fired in nine straight points during a pivotal stretch in the first half as the Utes took control for good.

Smith totaled 19 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals in the win, receiving a loud ovation when he pulled down a late rebound for the triple-double. Branden Carlson added 12 points and two blocks for Utah.

Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery scored 19 points and Josh Dix tallied 14 in the loss. Ben Krikke, Owen Freeman and Brock Harding each contributed 12 points.

The Hawkeyes (19-15) threatened the Utes in the second half, carving what was once an 18-point deficit down to five before Utah responded to put the game away.

Iowa chipped away at Utah’s lead after the break, opening the second half by scoring 18 of the period’s first 29 points. Krikke scored two buckets in a row and McCaffery hit a free throw with 12:44 left to make it a five-point game.

Carlsen ignited a 20-7 Utes run to re-establish a double-digit lead at 79-61.

The Utes roared ahead by double digits thanks to a Madsen offensive explosion in the first half. After making a 3-pointer, Madsen then hit six free throws and followed a Keba Keita dunk with one of his own.

That 13-0 run, including Madsen’s 11 points, put Utah up 45-27.

The Hawkeyes then scored seven straight points before going into the break down 48-36 on a last-second layup by Harding.

–Field Level Media

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